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  • Grace McCabe

Are You Being Hunted By Papa John of Papa Johns Pizza Delivery and Carryout?

papa john

Night is falling, and falling fast. Normally you wouldn’t be so foolish as to be caught out after curfew, except your boss made you stay late and take inventory of the dots on the ceiling tiles again. You clutch your briefcase and hurry into an alleyway – a risky move, but one that will take you home faster. You just hope you won’t get caught.

But tonight your wish will not be granted. You hear haggard breathing coming from somewhere behind you. You whip around, terrified, but see nothing but shifting shadows. Unless… could the sound be coming from beneath you? Wheezing, Papa John drags himself up out of a nearby street gutter and flops onto the concrete like a beached whale. Papa is tired from traversing many miles in the underground sewer system. You would do well to offer him a sip of pizza sauce. It would be rude not to, after he’s traveled all this way just to find you. Because Papa’s thirsty! And you wouldn’t like Papa when he’s thirsty. His thirst can only be quenched by the sauce on his Zesty Italian Trio specialty pizza, which he gulps down by the gallon. He’ll guzzle it down like he’s been lost in the desert for days. Greedy, greedy Papa.

But How Will You Know If It’s Papa?

You’ll know if it’s Papa, because Papa looks wrong! Papa’s skin fits him like a glove – stretchy and sagging in odd places. His face resembles that of a dough blob crudely shaped into the likeness of a man. It is as if the chef ceremoniously tossed the dough up into the air and then it hit the fan and fell with a splat onto the kitchen floor. This is why Papa sulks in the shadows. He is ashamed of his pockmarked face, dotted with the remnants of a thousand pepperoni experiments gone wrong.

But How Did Papa Become Papa?

Papa wasn’t always this way. In order to perfect his craft, Papa made the ultimate sacrifice. Many years ago, when he was just a little boy on the Italian coastline, Papa was tantalizingly close to perfecting the toppings on his pizza. But his backers were running out of patience. They threatened to shut down the whole project if Papa didn’t produce results soon. So Papa did something reckless. Something rash. Something he never should have done. Papa began human trials. Late at night, after everyone else had left the pizza parlor to attend a work party that he wasn’t invited to, Papa gingerly lifted a circle of pepperoni off the testing table. Hands shaking, he lowered it onto his face. Green light exploded out from the windows of the pizza parlor, and Papa’s screams echoed up and down the coastline. To this day, the last vestiges of Papa John’s mortal soul are imprisoned forever inside that slice of pepperoni, sentencing him to a half life, a cursed life – one that gives him no option but to scream the days away.

But How Will You Escape From Papa?

After gaping with horror at the founder of Papa John’s Pizza Delivery and Carryout languishing on the hard cement, you turn on your heels and run away as fast you can. Papa starts after you, flailing around like a fish out of water and leaving a trail of Alfredo sauce in his wake. Soon you slow down to a leisurely walk, as Papa can only reach a top speed of .003 miles per hour (the result of a tragic spelunking accident that left his legs shattered in thirty two places). He brandishes a pizza cutter, bellowing like a walrus, but you laugh in his face. “You don’t frighten me, Papa!” You shout with glee. You’re so scared of your own father, you don’t have any room to be scared of another. But then Papa begins to list all the times you asked your father to play catch with you and he said he was too busy. This is no longer a joke. You run for your life.

You’ve Done It!

You slam your front door behind you, gasping as sweat pours off you onto the fake oriental rug in your entryway. You’ve managed to give Papa the slip. You heave a sigh of relief, finally free from the meaty clutches of Papa John. Unless… Your head snaps up as you hear a noise upstairs. No. It couldn’t be. But it is. You hear footsteps creaking down your stairway, getting closer and closer. A lump forms in your throat as you know this can only mean one thing. Bo’s in the house.


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